My recent poll ended on Facebook (yes we have a Facebook page, please like and share!) ended with a dramatic win for Taiji (with double the number of votes over meditation the runner up). You have spoken and I will answer! We start a new short article series that will cover every single move of the modern simplified Yang 24 form in order. These articles will be a short description of the movement, a video of the move and a step by step breakdown in text. This will be accompanied by long-form articles explaining the theory and history of this form as well as Taiji basics. So let's get cracking!
Commencing Form 起勢 (Qi shi)
“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I could think of no better advice than this! So we start a the beginning. Check out the video below:
1) Before you start take a moment to relax and take three deep abdominal breaths. For advice on how to do that see our article here. This sets you up ready for some taiji.
2) Shift your weight to your right leg making that yang (full, dense and supporting). This makes your left leg yin (empty, hollow, free to move).
3) Left your left leg drift out driven by the hips/waist (much, much more on this later!).
4) Settle down feet just past shoulder width and sink down bending the knees and feeling the connection to the ground.
5) Hands are in front of the hips and full but not tense.
6) Bring the hands up as you straighten the legs, let the hands follow the movement of the legs.
7) Legs end straight but not locked and hands end just higher than the shoulders. Elbows stay sunk.
8) Let the hands come down as you bend the legs. Ending knees bent and arms in front of hips again.
9) Repeat steps 5-8 as many times as you like. Start with 10 and build up to 50 adding one a day.
If you want to see a video of someone with Taiji much better than mine perform this movement, check out my teacher Master Mark Green's video on his site Taijipeida.
Well done and good luck with your Taiji practice!